Does Insomnia Impact Hearing Loss?

Man with hearing loss lying in bed suffering from insomnia

It’s not fun when you can’t sleep at night. And when it occurs on a regular basis, it’s especially vexing. You toss and turn and probably stare at the clock (or your phone) and stress about just how tired you’ll be the next day. When these kinds of sleepless nights persistently occur, medical professionals tend to use the term “insomnia”. Over time, the effects of chronic insomnia will compound, negatively impacting your overall health.

And the health of your hearing, not unexpectedly, is part of your general health. Yup, your hearing can be negatively impacted by insomnia! This isn’t exactly a cause-and-effect relationship, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link between hearing loss and insomnia.

Can your hearing be affected by lack of sleep?

What could the connection between hearing loss and sleep be? According to substantial research, your cardiovascular system can be affected by insomnia over a long time period. Without the nightly regenerative power of sleep, it’s more difficult for your blood to get everywhere it needs to be.

Anxiety and stress also increase with insomnia. Feeling stressed and anxious will impact you in physiological ways as well as mentally.

So, how does hearing loss play into that? There are little hairs inside of your ears called stereocilia. These fragile hairs vibrate when sound takes place and the information gets transmitted to your brain, which then translates those vibrations into sounds.

These little hairs have a hard time staying healthy when there are circulatory problems. These hairs can, in some instances, be permanently damaged. Damage of this type is permanent. Permanent hearing loss can be the result, and the longer the circulation problems continue, the more significant the damage will be.

Does it also work the other way around?

Is it possible for hearing loss to cause you to lose sleep? It’s certainly possible. Many people favor a little background noise when they try to sleep and hearing loss can make the world very quiet. For individuals in this category, that amount of silence can make it really hard to get a good night’s sleep. Another way that hearing loss might cost you some sleep is if you find yourself stressed about losing your hearing.

If you have hearing loss, what can you do to get a good night’s sleep? Stress on your brain can be decreased by wearing your hearing aids during the day because you won’t be wearing them at night. Adhering to other sleep-health tips can also be helpful.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Don’t drink caffeine after midday.: Even if you drink decaf, it still has enough caffeine to give you problems sleeping. Soda also fits into this category.
  • For at least an hour, abstain from looking at screens: (Even longer if possible!) Screens have a tendency to stimulate your brain
  • Try to de-stress as much as possible: It might not be possible to get rid of every stressor from your life, but giving yourself time to de-stress is critical. Do something relaxing before bed.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping (mostly): Try to minimize the amount of things you use your bedroom for. Working in your bedroom isn’t a very good plan.
  • Refrain from using alcohol before you go to bed: Your existing sleep cycle will be interrupted by drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Get some exercise regularly: Your body needs to keep moving, and if you aren’t moving, you could end up going to bed with a bit of excess energy. Getting enough exercise every day will really be helpful.
  • Try to avoid drinking a couple of hours before bed: Having to get up and go to the bathroom can start the “wake up” process in your brain. So, sleeping through the night is better.

Take care of your hearing health

Even if you have experienced some insomnia-associated symptoms in the past, and have some hearing loss, your symptoms can still be managed.

If you’re worried about your hearing, set up an appointment with us today.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.